Anabelle is no longer a doll. She is a cow
Anabelle is no longer a doll. She is a cow. A large, rotund, ignorant cow, that when milked, becomes increasingly irked and increasingly empty. But this isn’t a recent transformation; she’s been this way ever since Annabelle hit the big screen for her own feature in 2014. And come 2019, she is as empty as she could be, desperately in need of a break.
Anabelle Comes Home brings us forward to 1972, where demonologists Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) now live in the suburbs with their young daughter Judy (Grace McKenna). When leaving her with babysitter Mary Ellen (Madison Iseman), she agrees to stay away from the basement, the holding place for the artefacts the couple have recovered over their time investigating. Yet when Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela (Katie Sarife) joins for the evening, her word doesn’t mean quite as much as the others.
The latest instalment into the Conjuring universe fails so miserably, initially because it rests all of its focus on ‘horrible things’ and jump scares, but it also features such a terribly limited plot and locality. From a third of the way through the run time onward, there’s no attempt to change the focus of the piece, remaining entirely within the Warren’s household. But this isn’t 12 Angry Men, it isn’t even 10 Cloverfield Lane; there’s such a lack of quality and product within the script, it fails to materialise into anything more than a mash up of monsters stuck in a very cramped space. It’s more like a monster house party than anything more sinister.
Combine these monsters with an extreme lack of set-up, and they become less than scary, with the entire misunderstandimng of a genre, showcased in just one feature. Horror isn’t scary because of the monsters, its scary if they are set up right. Annabelle Comes Home doesn’t set anything up correctly, not even Annabelle (though she’s probably the toughest bit to actually get right). It’s a clustered mess with virtually no redeeming features, leaving Annabelle behind as a drained cow only being milked for cash whenever Warner Brothers feel like turning over a bit more money.
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